Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (7) carries the ball following his reception against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Pats WR Kayshon Boutte arrested on illegal betting charge

New England Patriots wide receiver Kayshon Boutte has been arrested on charges related to illegal online gaming while he was at LSU, Louisiana State Police said Thursday.

Boutte, 21, created a fraudulent online account, using an alias, police said in a news release, which detailed the volume of bets placed from that account.

“Between April 6, 2022, and May 7, 2023, the alias account believed to be used by Boutte placed over 8,900 wagers,” police said. “Of the 8,900 wagers, at least seventeen were on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football games, with at least six of those wagers on LSU football.”

Boutte turned himself in on a felony charge of computer fraud and a misdemeanor count of gaming prohibited for persons under 21. He was booked at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison

TV station and then immediately released after posting a $6,000 bond, per a report from television station WAFB. The report said the wagers and payouts of the bets reached “several hundred thousand dollars.”

LSU issued a statement on the matter Thursday.

“In July 2023, LSU was made aware of allegations regarding a former student-athlete’s improper conduct related to sports gambling while enrolled at the University. Since then, we have fully cooperated with all relevant authorities involved in the investigation and will continue to do so. We have no evidence that any other student-athletes participated in these prohibited activities, and we are grateful for measures that detect and discourage sports gambling related misconduct.”

A source told WAFB that Boutte never bet “against himself” or his actions in LSU games.

Boutte played for three seasons at LSU from 2020-22, catching 131 passes for 1,782 yards and 16 touchdowns in 27 games.

The Patriots drafted him in the sixth round in 2023 and he appeared in five NFL games, catching two passes for 19 yards.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a LSU Tigers helmet against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: LSU promotes Joe Sloan, Cortez Hankton to co-OCs

LSU is promoting quarterbacks coach Joe Sloan and wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Cortez Hankton to the roles of co-offensive coordinators, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

Sloan will call the plays for head coach Brian Kelly’s Tigers next season, per the reports. Sloan and Hankton will replace Mike Denbrock, who departed for the same position at Notre Dame.

Sloan and Hankton served as co-offensive coordinators during LSU’s 35-31 win against Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl on Jan. 1, with the Tigers (10-3) racking up 492 yards of offense.

Sloan was the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech from 2020-21 before spending the past two years as the QBs coach in Baton Rouge, helping Jayden Daniels develop into the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner.

Sloan also helped with the successful recruiting of quarterback Bryce Underwood, the No. 1 overall player in the class of 2025 per 247 Sports.

Hankton joined the LSU staff in 2022 after coaching the wide receivers at Georgia (2018-21), Vanderbilt (2015-17) and Dartmouth (2012-14).

–Field Level Media

Malik Nabers 8 fights for extra yards as the LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 25, 2023.

LSU star receiver Malik Nabers to enter NFL draft

Malik Nabers, the FBS leader in receiving yards with 1,569 as a junior for LSU, said Saturday he is forgoing his senior season and heading for the NFL draft.

In three seasons, he amassed 3,003 yards, a school record, and 21 touchdowns on 189 catches. Fourteen of those scores came this season, when he averaged 17.6 yards per reception, making him one of just three in FBS receivers to tally at least 17 yards per catch and haul in 80 or more passes.

Nabers’ 89 receptions this season made him the favorite target of LSU’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels. Nabers also was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award honoring the nation’s best receiver. That honor ultimately went to Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State.

In February, prosecutors declined to bring a misdemeanor charge against Nabers after he was arrested on Bourbon Street on a misdemeanor charge of illegally carrying a weapon.

New Orleans police said at the time that 156 guns were confiscated around the Mardi Gras parade routes, and that Nabers was one of 15 people who had similar gun charges thrown out.

–Field Level Media

Belleville quarterback Bryce Underwood makes a pass against Southfield A&T during the first half of the Division 1 state final at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.

QB Bryce Underwood, top player in 2025 class, chooses LSU

Coveted five-star quarterback Bryce Underwood, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2025 class, verbally committed to LSU on Saturday.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Underwood chose LSU over Alabama and Michigan while making the announcement in the Belleville High (Mich.) cafeteria. He also strongly considered Auburn, Colorado, Florida, Florida State and Georgia.

“Great coaching staff, amazing coaching staff, amazing atmosphere,” Underwood told 247Sports, referring to LSU. “The program itself is very historical. A lot of great players went in and out of Louisiana State University. The food is amazing. It’s a lot of real people out there. A lot of people from Michigan. A lot of things we can relate to.”

Underwood has won two state titles at Belleville but fell short of a third consecutive crown this season as a junior. The loss ended the school’s 38-game winning streak.

Underwood threw for 3,165 yards, 40 touchdowns and two interceptions while adding seven rushing scores in 2023 and being named the Michigan state player of the year.

One thing that helped LSU’s recruiting pitch was Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels winning the Heisman Trophy this season. Another key for Underwood was finding a school that can help him with his NFL aspirations.

In that case, Joe Burrow fits the ball as the Heisman winner in 2019 for LSU and now a star quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals.

“The development for me as a quarterback to prepare myself for the NFL is what mattered for me,” Underwood said. “Also, having a relatable offense that I’m getting into is a big thing as well.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a LSU Tigers helmet against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

LSU reportedly makes new DC Blake Baker highest-paid assistant

LSU named Blake Baker, defensive coordinator at Missouri, to the same position.

While LSU announced his hiring on Friday, no financial terms were released. ESPN reported Baker will receive a three-year deal worth $2.5 million per year, which will make him the highest-paid assistant coach in college football.

Baker helped Missouri to an 11-win season and a 14-3 defeat of Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. It was the first time the Buckeyes didn’t score a touchdown in a game since the 2016 season.

Baker spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at Missouri. Among his career jobs, he was the defensive coordinator at Lousiana Tech (2015-18) and Miami (Fla.) in 2019-20, as well as the linebackers coach at LSU in 2021, before heading to Missouri.

“Blake brings a wealth of experience and success as a defensive coordinator throughout his career, including the last two years in the SEC at Missouri,” LSU head coach Brian Kelly said. “His ability to develop and motivate his players while putting together highly successful defenses sets him apart in his field. I am excited to welcome Blake and his family back to Baton Rouge.”

On Wednesday, Kelly announced LSU was parting ways with coordinator Matt House and three of his assistants — cornerbacks coach Robert Steeples, safeties coach Kerry Cooks and defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey — following a 10-3 season.

Baker, 41, is a Houston native but his Louisiana roots run deep. He played linebacker at Tulane from 2000-04.

Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz posted a message of appreciation for Baker on social media late Friday.

“Thank you, Blake for all you did for @MizzouFootball,” Drinkwitz wrote. “Your help in all we’ve accomplished cannot be DENIED! I enjoyed every minute of our journey together — but it’s time for you to go on a new path.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;  LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly waves to fans during warmups before the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU parts ways with DC Matt House, 3 assistants

LSU announced major changes to its defensive staff on Wednesday, parting ways with coordinator Matt House and three of his assistants.

Tigers head coach Brian Kelly announced the dismissals of House, cornerbacks coach Robert Steeples, safeties coach Kerry Cooks and defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey following a 10-3 season.

“I want to thank each of these coaches for their work on behalf of our football program and our institution during their time here,” Kelly said in a statement. “Decisions like these are always difficult, and we do not make them lightly, but they are made with the best interests of our program and our student-athletes in mind.”

LSU’s season ended Monday with a 35-31 victory against Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl. The Tigers finished tied for 78th among FBS defenses, allowing 28.0 points per game.

LSU’s losses this season came by scores of 42-28 (Alabama), 45-24 (Florida State) and 55-49 (Ole Miss).

House spent two seasons as the defensive coordinator in Baton Rouge. He coached linebackers with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2019-21 and previously worked as the DC for Kentucky, Florida International and Pitt.

–Field Level Media

Belleville quarterback Bryce Underwood watches the last seconds of the game against Southfield A&T at the Division 1 state final at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.

Report: 2025 No. 1 player Bryce Underwood to commit Saturday

Five-star quarterback Bryce Underwood, ranked as the No. 1 player in the 2025 class by the 247Sports composite, is set to announce his college decision Saturday afternoon, per a report.

Underwood attends Belleville (Mich.) High School and has finalists of Alabama, Colorado, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Oregon and Penn State, 247Sports reported Wednesday.

As a junior in 2023, he completed 66.7 percent of his pass attempts for 3,165 yards with 40 touchdowns and two interceptions, per MaxPreps. His QB rating was 146.0.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback added seven rushing scores on 25 carries.

Underwood led Belleville to the Division 1 Michigan high school state championship game in 2023. The Tigers were seeking their third straight title and their 36-32 loss to Southfield A&T in the championship game snapped a 38-game winning streak.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a LSU Tigers helmet against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

LSU OT Lance Heard in portal after skipping bowl

Former five-star offensive tackle Lance Heard is leaving LSU.

The top signing in the Tigers’ 2023 recruiting class is entering the transfer portal after one season, per multiple reports.

Heard played in 12 games for LSU, including one start at right tackle on Oct. 21 against Army.

He did not travel to Tampa, Fla., with LSU for Monday’s 35-31 win over Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl.

The 6-foot-6, 340-pound native of Monroe, La., was ranked 15th in the Class of 2023 by the 247Sports composite.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Garrett Nussmeier (13) throws the ball during the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

No. 13 LSU scores last, edges Wisconsin at ReliaQuest Bowl

Garrett Nussmeier filled in for Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels and passed for 395 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 13 LSU to a 35-31 victory over Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl on Monday afternoon in Tampa, Fla.

Nussmeier oudueled Tanner Mordecai, who passed for 378 yards and three touchdowns for the Badgers (7-6), including two scores to Will Pauling, who finished with 143 receiving yards.

Nussmeier passed for 84 yards on a 98-yard drive that ended with his 4-yard touchdown pass to Brian Thomas Jr., giving LSU (10-3) its only lead, 35-31, with 3:08 remaining.

Mordecai drove the Badgers to a first down at the Tigers 27, but he was sacked on three consecutive plays and Wisconsin turned the ball over on downs.

Daniels watched from the sideline after choosing to focus on the NFL draft, and Malik Nabers, who already was LSU’s all-time leader in career pass receptions, became the leader in career receiving yards in the first quarter before sitting out the second half.

Wisconsin received the second-half kickoff and Jackson Acker raced 33 yards for a touchdown that increased the Badgers’ lead to 28-14.

Nussmeier threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Thomas and he added a 14-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hilton Jr. that tied the score.

The Badgers reached a first-and-goal at the Tigers 1 but settled for Nathaniel Vakos’ 21-yard field goal and a 31-28 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Badgers drove to a score on their first drive, which ended with Mordecai’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Green, who finished with 105 yards, and a 7-0 lead.

Mordecai added a 53-yard touchdown pass to Pauling for a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

LSU finally scored when Harold Perkins Jr. rushed 1 for a touchdown early in the second quarter, and the Tigers made it two touchdowns in two possessions when Kaleb Jackson ran 12 yards to tie the score at 14.

Wisconsin came right back, and five plays later, Mordecai and Pauling teamed on a 9-yard touchdown pass that gave the Badgers a 21-14 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

Nov 4, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Garrett Nussmeier (13) throws  pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the second half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

No. 13 LSU, minus Jayden Daniels, turns page to face Wisconsin

LSU had the most productive offense in the country during the regular season.

Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels won the Heisman Trophy.

However, the No. 13 Tigers won’t have Daniels, who is focusing on the NFL draft, or offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, who left to take a similar position at Notre Dame, when it faces Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl on Monday in Tampa.

“Jayden did what was best for him, everybody understands his decision and we support him in everything that he does,” LSU defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo said. “The culture here is that guys started together, and we want to finish this together.”

Wingo is planning to play in the bowl game even though he missed the final five games of the regular season after undergoing abdominal surgery.

“I’m the captain of this team,” Wingo said. “I feel like I owe those guys to come back and play. I hate that I had to have surgery and miss (much of) the season, but it’s important to finish out the season with those guys.

“Sometimes around bowl games, practice gets lackadaisical, guys are out there (just) to get to the bowl game. This team’s been very intentional with our work and taking the individual periods very seriously and really trying to get better.”

Daniels’ top two receiving targets — Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr., who were a finalist and semifinalist, respectively, for the Biletnkoff Award — are expected to play and be the top targets for Garrett Nussmeier as he steps in for Daniels.

LSU (9-3) will try to produce a second consecutive 10-win season, the importance of which coach Brian Kelly emphasized as the Tigers were eliminated from the Southeastern Conference West race with a loss at Alabama on Nov. 4.

“That’s something that helped guys want to come out and play this game,” LSU linebacker Greg Penn said of Kelly’s statement. “Hopefully we’ll be able to do that for us and our fans.”

Quarterbacks coach Joe Sloan and wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Cortez Hankton will serve as co-offensive coordinators after Denbrock’s departure.

Badgers coach Luke Fickell called Nussmeier “a really, really good player, too,” but acknowledged that Daniels’ absence removes “the dynamic of a legitimate, take-it-the-distance quarterback run.”

Wisconsin (7-5) also will be missing a key offensive player as leading rusher Braelon Allen announced he was opting out before the Badgers’ bowl invitation was even offered. He ran for 984 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

Another handful of key players have either opted out to focus on the draft or entered the transfer portal.

Yet Fickell said, “There’s a bounce in some of these guys’ step to have these opportunities (as replacements).”

Though LSU averaged 50 points while winning its last three games in the regular season, the absence of Daniels and Allen could lead to a lower-scoring game.

“You hear about Jayden Daniels and the wide receivers and all the skill people,” Fickell said, “and then all of a sudden you really start to watch and you see what kind of makes the engine go, and that’s the guys up front both offensively and defensively.”

–Field Level Media